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TELL THE WORLD From the Ashes of Ratt, Stephen Pearcy proves he is alive and well in triumphant Whisky performance



From the Ashes of Ratt, Stephen Pearcy proves he is alive and well in triumphant Whisky performance
By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large

HOLLYWOOD – Ratt was once among the world’s biggest acts, but all that remains from the Los Angeles group’s legacy is Stephen Pearcy in the wake of the curly-haired singer’s permanent departure last year, in addition to bassist Robbie Crane joining Black Star Riders, drummer Bobby Blotzer taking a medical leave and co-guitarist Carlos Cavazo quietly announcing just recently his retirement from the music business.

Earl-Podcast-Block-Jan-2014He’s 58 now, but Pearcy continues rocking along, drawing a near-capacity crowd to the Whisky on Friday, Dec. 19 for a well-received concert that included most of Ratt’s hits that made the fivesome so popular in the first place at the very same club, where Ratt was once the venue’s house band before signing with Atlantic, then releasing a string of platinum albums celebrated by a succession of arena tours.

Instead of playing for 20,000 or so like Ratt would do on a good night back in the day, Pearcy has been relegated to small clubs – that’s got to be humbling for a man who once proclaimed a quota of three groupies per day – but you couldn’t tell by his positive attitude nor the way he dutifully performed at the Whisky. And sure enough, the crowd loved it, even though there weren’t as many of us as Pearcy probably would have wanted.

Three songs into the set, Pearcy and his mates tore their way into “Lack of Communication,” and for a moment, it was just like 1987.

Drummer Greg D’Angelo from White Lion is probably the most well-known among Pearcy’s backing band, and no, as a unit the charisma level and overall talent pales in comparison to Ratt at any stage of the band’s up-and-down career. But Pearcy is still Pearcy, and as a solo act he is still more entertaining than 99 percent of all new bands you care to throw in his direction.

“You’re In Love” and “Lay It Down” still have those great riffs, and Pearcy proved in fine voice.

He was in a good mood, too – something that shouldn’t be taken for granted for a singer whose temperament through the years is a lot different than, say, Bret Michaels or the late Jani Lane – and, frankly, Pearcy had every reason to pissed considering there was big buzz at the Roxy just a few steps up the Sunset Strip because Ozzy Osbourne and Dave Navarro were making an appearance with Camp Freddy.

“Wanted Man” and “Body Talk” were delivered with crisp guitar work from Erik Ferentinos and Chris Hager, and on “Back For More,” bassist Matt Thorne held the beat down well. All the while, Pearcy commanded the stage with confidence.

“Round and Round” came last, and everyone was still around having a good time, singing along during the choruses and generally harking back to the days when MTV ruled and Ratt’s tour bus used to have a “Girls Wanted” on the front placard.

The action moved upstairs to Pearcy’s dressing room afterward, where Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe was holding court and enjoying the company of groupies, just as Pearcy was. The drinks were unlimited care of promoter Jake Perry, as usual, as marijuana smoke wafted through the air.

In all, a very fun night, just as we expected. There are a string of pop-metal bands that are coming to the Whisky in the coming months, so it should be a good year. This was the last Friday before Christmas in what has turned out to be a good year for Sludge-style rock in 2014. Here’s hoping that 2015 is going to be even better.

Gerry Gittelson can be reached at

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